The study of history informs pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the world as it is today, and their place in it. It helps students develop essential skills of analysis, evaluation and research, and encourages them to prepare and test theories, and provide coherent, fluent answers to challenging questions. 


As a department, we are keen to encourage discussion and debate, and to get pupils to engage with history in their daily lives.

Our study of History flows seamlessly from Year 3 right up to GCSE, covering each of the relevant ages in order and thereby enabling the children to gain a sound grasp of British History. Within that framework, we use textbooks, resource files and CD Roms, all of which allow us to deliver the subject in a dynamic and colourful way.

Role-play is vital to this process (hopefully costumed, in due course!), but so too are such things as visits from archaeologists (and Greek actors, Viking warriors, Tudor soldiers and Victorian policemen!), building Celtic hill forts, making Viking longboats and going on trips to the Roman Baths at Bath, Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, the Industrial Museum, the Slave Trail and Glastonbury. Through this, we aspire not only to teach and inform about the successes and failures of our culture, but also inspire the enquiring mind.

Why Study History at Clifton College?

History plays a large part in life at Clifton College. As a public boarding school, we celebrated our 150th year in 2012. As an institution, our history intertwines with many major events of the past century and a half. As pupils walk to lessons each day they pass by the statue of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, once a pupil at Clifton College and later the British commander on the Western Front. There can scarcely be a more controversial military figure — achieving victory in the Great War, but at such a terrible human cost.